Right, let’s get some kip for tomorrow, we head for France and that.
Mainly ‘that’ as I shall be spending eight hours at sea. Seems like a good plan…or does it?
Here we go! The train has set off. It’s 6:15 and I’m off via Lewes. Not the scrawny TV detective.
Goodbye, Sir! It’s so chuffing dark. An early morning always looks better than it feels.
I just saw my reflection . My five year old self waved from behind my eyes. Hi, little fella. Let’s go on an adventure.
Well, I’m checked in and sitting in the waiting room. Boy, I’ve seen livelier people in morgues. There’s a chap here who looks like Wilfred Brambell. I ‘ope ‘ees fed the ‘orses before he left this morning. You see things in these places that you don’t see anywhere else. A snack machine called “Snakky”. It feels a bit French.
Seven Thirty –Great, more like! It’s like a party in here! Sponsored by “The elderly dust and grimace Company”. These people don’t use alarm clocks, they use Defibrillators.
I know that waiting is boring but there’s a maritime version of “Metro” called “All at Sea”! That’s fab! Look around! Be excited! No? Well, balls to you then.
Just popped outside for a fart. Loud + true…Satan’s brew. I let off two.
Right, we’re on the bus and ready to go. Customs was a bloke who tutted at my sandwich. I imagine he was jealous. There’s quorn in there.
Sitting on a plastic chair on the top deck and near the funnels. Facing out to sea and ready to go. The engines are thrumming and I had my first Bonjour. Sweet!
Turned my radio on and heard funeral arrangements from Brighton. The 1:00pm wants to change the music to “Acker Bilk, ‘ Stranger on the Shore’” It fucking is stranger on the shore . That’s why I’m at sea.
Listening to Beachcombers and the Rubicon advert. Jeff’s mug o’ tees! I doubt that this has ever happened at sea before. It’s great out here. The sea is calm and so am I. I found 50p earlier which improved an already good mood! I recommend this nonsense. The food in the restaurant looked awful. I might have some later on. Food at sea. Not seafood. The UK still dominates the view and I can see Brighton. My 10:00 alarm just went off. I can’t walk from here to Hove. I’m not bloody Jesus… That’s just as well. I couldn’t put in the required hours for all that Messiah malarkey. Tits to that. I’m now the last hardy soul on deck…no, scrub that. Here’s a bloke now. Another blokey has arrived. He’s got a beer. Starting early, Sailor. Maybe he never stops drinking. He’s already portly, getting bigger shortly.
Ahoy! I still haven’t seen France. Has it been nicked? I can see the UK coast but it’s more like a chalky smudge on the horizon now. I say, this is all rather pleasant. Seabirds are racing us, looking for scraps. Lunch is exorbitant, unless you’re a cormorant. They’ll eat well from our foaming, polluted wake. I wonder whether we’ve passed any dolphins or seals? I don’t give a sod about cod but a seal is the real deal.
There’s a real ball-head over there. Clear off. Your shiny head is getting on my nerves.
Pints of sea.
Pints of sea,
Vessels on the top,
We’ll flatten your waves,
But you’ll never stop.
Hang on, the sun has come out. Loosen your anoraks! Not too much.
I can just about see France from here. At last! I like being out here. This is a top notch method of travelling. It’s sedate up here but chopping away below the waters, the propellers turn in the frantic mixing bowl of the sea. Avast behind. Over there…look.
Yo ho! Go away! There’s beige directly in front of me. I hope that I never give in to beige. I doubt that it will ever feature in my life but you have to guard against it. France is just over my shoulder. I had a look and it seems to be where I last saw it. France is not my destination. It’s a handy stop to wait for my boat towards home.
I wonder how fast we’re going? Would waterskiing work behind a ferry? That might be a way to get a cheaper fare. Two water skis to France , please! Imagine the fear. Sod that. If you followed a ferry at a respectable distance, you could take a pedalo across the channel.
Just arriving in France. It looks like England with French dirt. Smashing! Ready to go ashore? Oui! OK. Let’s have a butch.
Sitting near a church in Dieppe. This town is a run down little fleabag with closed up and derelict shops. The usual vape stores and tat shops prevail. It’s a bit grotty but I’m happy to be here for a short while. The locals seem miserable and look unhealthy. Smoking and drinking and eating shite grub. It’s bound to get you. I popped my head into the church. It looked OK from the outside but it’s a rubbish one. Nothing out of the ordinary.
I’m at the harbour and there’s a boat that looks JUST LIKE the Blue Peter ship. It’s like seeing a celebrity. I wonder if it would splash me an autograph?
I’ve done a full circuit of Dieppe town centre on foot. Hey, the bus driver from the port let me on without paying. He had no change and I only had a €20 note. Arrgh! I just looked up and saw Blue Peter again. It’s really wierd.
I’ve spent some time at the sea front. It’s rather like Eastbourne but slightly more French. I’m near the ferry terminal so I won’t be late back. Even here, old ladies have that “nan” smell. What brand of perfume is it? They have cornered the world market on that whiff.
I’ve been watching ships and avoiding joggers most of the last hour. I’d ask for a trip here as a Christmas present. I like this odd Frenchy feeling. I’d stay for a bit longer next time…unless it’s chuffing cold, in which case, this will do. It’s a funny old place. It’s as French as you want it to be. Say French stuff in shops and wander around looking very English.
It feels like an ‘old people’ sort of town. Maybe this is ‘retirement town’, French style? I’ve seen some bloody stupid hats here. That bloke’s hat has a pointy bit sticking out of it. He seems happy but he looks a proper ‘nana.
I might make my way towards the ship. Seems like the thing to do.
17:48 Well, that escalated quickly. I suddenly realised that there was a heck of a long walk to the ship! I thought that there was a bridge but it was MILES away and I had a desperate rush to get here! I made it with five mins to spare. I will be more careful next time but boy, doesn’t panic make you feel alive? I can see where I was from here but it was a heck of a walk! What a pillock! I’m in an air conditioned lounge on the ship but I would have been waiting SIX hours if I had missed the boat.
Chicken! Tuna! Turkey! If you don’t eat these things, you will have to eat the sort of shite that I had for tea. Peanuts and lemony biscuits. Bloody awful. Why are the French so famous for their cuisine when it’s such limited shite? It’s bollocks, Man. It truly is.
Big Toblerones!It seems to be the most widely available snack between international borders worldwide. You could build a palace from them. Endless triangular chocolate, that’s Toblerone. However, bringing up the rear and gaining speed, we have M&Ms. Those chatty peanuts are starting to tighten their grip on the international snack market. Wouldn’t it be grand if something that I COULD eat became a worldwide sensation? It’s almost impossible to eat well on one of these trips.
Just watched a fabulous golden sunset. Quite spectacular and dramatic. A glorious end to the trip and these notes. I hope to do all of this again soon. I will be better prepared next time. Silly old sod.